News Release

For Immediate Release: November 1, 1996
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 - 654 - 4989

City of San Bernardino Cuts Energy Use 20 Percent,
Earns Energy Commission Award

Because of recent energy-efficiency projects that cut nearly $200,000 a year from its electric bill, the city of San Bernardino will be presented an award for "Outstanding Energy Achievement in Local Government" from the California Energy Commission at the City Council meeting Monday, November 4, 1996.

The resolution commends the city for "reducing energy use, saving revenue for public services, and setting an example for all businesses and residents in their community."

"San Bernardino has shown a strong commitment to reduce energy in its city-owned facilities," acknowledged Commissioner Jananne Sharpless of the Energy Commission. "Working in concert with the Commission's Energy Partnership Program and Southern California Edison's Envest Program, the city's staff has acted to cut energy waste since 1995."

In the past year, the city has completed energy conservation projects in city buildings including City Hall, Carousel Mall, Feldheym Library, the Central parking garage, the main fire station, the Delmann Heights and Hernandez Recreation Centers, the Senior Center and the Animal Shelter.

At most of the sites, inefficient light fixtures were changed to energy-saving fluorescent ones with electronic ballasts that cut electrical usage by 35 percent. Inefficient incandescent lamps were converted to fluorescents that use 50 to 70 percent less electricity, and occupancy sensors were installed in offices to turn off lights when the rooms were not in use.

City Hall office equipment was made more efficient when energy misers were installed on laser jet printers. At both City Hall and the Carousel Mall, new energy-efficient cooling systems replaced 30-year-old outdated equipment.

As a result of these improvements, the city achieved a 20 percent drop in its annual utility bills. While total cost of the project was $1,021,400, annual energy savings of $200,000 will recoup the expense in an estimated 5 years.

"Additional benefits include improved lighting and comfort for city employees and the public, as well as reduced maintenance costs, since new air conditioning systems are still under warranty and won't need servicing or replacement for several years," said James Sharer, Manager of the city's Facilities Management Department.

"San Bernardino offers an excellent example of the benefits of energy efficiency," agreed Commissioner Sharpless. "Only a limited number are selected for this award. Since 1991 when the program began, only 42 cities and counties have been honored by the Energy Commission."

According to Sharer, the most rewarding part of these projects is to actually see a reduction in energy use once the improvements are completed. "My department is responsible for billing other departments for the electricity they consume," he said, "and I can track actual energy savings in each of our buildings. Because of the success of these projects, we plan to install energy efficient lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment in all of our city buildings."

Energy Commissioner David Rohy will present the resolution to the City Council.

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For more information, contact:

James W. Sharer, Manager, Facilities Management Department
City of San Bernardino, (909) 384-5244

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